Voters’ Guide

NM Judicial Retention

Candidates for
Judicial Retention, Statewide

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL STATE, DISTRICT AND COUNTY CANDIDATES: A candidate must be a registered voter in New Mexico affiliated with the political party for which he/she is seeking office. A candidate for district office must reside in the district of voter registration. Additional requirements for each office are given on the following pages.

Candidates for
Justice of the Supreme Court - Retention

The Supreme Court consists of five justices and is located in Santa Fe. This is the court of last resort and has superintending control over all lower courts and attorneys licensed in the state and jurisdiction over criminal matters in which the sentence imposed is life in prison or the death penalty, appeals from the Public Regulation Commission, appeals from the granting of writs of habeas corpus, appeals in actions challenging nominations, and removal of public officials. Salary: $131,174.

Supreme Court vacancies are filled through gubernatorial appointment from a slate of potential nominees submitted by a judicial nominating committee. The newly-appointed judge must then run in a contested, partisan election at the next general election. Thereafter, the judge runs in nonpartisan retention elections for eight-year terms. Voters at a retention election may vote either “yes” or “no” for each individual judge for retention. To be retained a judge must receive at least 57% in affirmative votes cast in the retention election.

Barbara J. Vigil

Candidates for
Justice of the Court of Appeals - Retention

The ten judges on the Court of Appeals are elected by all voters in the state and serve eight-year terms. To be eligible to hold the office of Judge of the Court of Appeals, a person must be at least 35 years old, have practiced law for at least 10 years, and have resided in New Mexico for the last 3 years. As the intermediate appellate court between the district courts and the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals currently reviews appeals in all cases, except criminal cases involving sentences of death or life imprisonment, appeals from the Public Regulation Commission, and cases involving habeas corpus. The judges sit in panels of three judges to decide cases. Annual salaries: Chief Judge, $126,515; Judge, $124,615.

Voters at a retention election may vote either "yes" or "no" for each individual judge for retention. To retain the office, a judge standing for retention must receive 57% "yes" votes of all the votes cast on the question of retention.

Jonathan B. Sutin

M. Monica Zamora

Tim L. Garcia